Copy
May 9, 2022
View this email in your browser
Website
LinkedIn
Facebook
Email

On Fairness

A friend and former client, and faithful reader of these missives, challenged me to write about fairness, of which there seems a paucity these days.

Fairness is a funny thing. When little kids say, “Not fair!!!”, they really mean, “I’m not being treated the way I would like.” As we grow older, we begin to understand that fairness is not about getting our way all the time, but about equity and equality, even-handedness applied to all and sundry.

The problem is that nature is not fair. Nature in the raw is merciless, where only the toughest and the fiercest survive.

Nature is also random. It may be that you discover a rich vein of gold on your land, it’s equally likely that a sinkhole swallows your house. It may be that you are like my Dad, who lived to 102, of which the first 98 were healthy, active years. But it may also be that you are diagnosed with an aggressive cancer while still in your thirties, notwithstanding your healthy lifestyle.

King Midas thought himself the luckiest man on earth, with everything that he touched turning to gold. Lucky, that is, until he touched his beloved daughter. As he discovered, we more or less have to accept what nature dishes out.

But that’s not the end of the story. There are two more chapters.

First, we can be wise about nature. While we can’t yet control earthquakes, we can still do something about the climate catastrophe we have brought upon our own heads, and we can do a lot about protecting our own personal physical, mental, and spiritual health. It’s one thing to accept when life dishes out hard things, but there’s no prize for going back for seconds.

There’s another area of life where we have some control over fairness, and that is in our treatment of one another. If we, in our communities and societies, determine to treat one another with respect and compassion, the Law of the Jungle will not prevail. And that means I will treat you fairly, and you will treat my kids fairly, and they will treat your sister fairly, and she will treat me fairly. This is at the heart of the Golden Rule, and this is at the heart of our liberal democracies.

Can we guarantee that we will all be treated fairly? No, we can't. But we can do our best to deal fairly. And therein is hope.

 

Forward to a friend


Can I help you or your organization? Contact me at norm@purposeful.ca or at 613-862-3489. 


Friday Briefing Archives

 

“The world isn't fair, Calvin."

"I know Dad, but why isn't it ever unfair in my favor?”

Bill Watterson, The Essential Calvin and Hobbes

We need to defend the interests of those whom we've never met and never will.

Jeffrey D. Sachs

What I Do

I am an explainer, that is, I deconstruct complexity and re-frame it in understandable terms.

In particular, I explain the secrets of professional success-- things I wish I had known as a beginner lawyer in 1981, but which I had to learn by trial and error (and the occasional epiphany).

Simple yet profound, these secrets are really just specific applications of common-sense life lessons. They are the keys to true professional satisfaction and financial success.

Call me at 613-862-3489 or e-mail me at norm@purposeful.ca

 
 
© Norman Bowley 2022, all rights reserved.
Your privacy is important to me. I never rent, sell, share your email address – ever!

This e-mail is coming to your in-box because you subscribed. If it just shows up without permission, please scold it, delete it, and tell us. We support and do our absolute best not to offend the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), more formally known as "An Act to promote the efficiency and adaptability of the Canadian economy by regulating certain activities that discourage reliance on electronic means of carrying out commercial activities, and to amend the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Act, the Competition Act, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and the Telecommunications Act." If you tell us that we sent this e-mail to you in error, your name will be struck from our list in an instant, with our abject apologies.

You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.


 






This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Purposeful Communications · 239 Somerville Drive · Perth, Ontario K7H 3C6 · Canada

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp